Goals either side of half-time condemned Palace’s development side to defeat at Selhurst Park against Bolton Wanderers.
A strong Palace line-up including Scott Dann, Steve Mandanda and Fraizer Campbell took to the field looking to continue their good form in 2017, however an early Harry Brockbank goal was added to in the game’s late stages by a fine individual strike by Jack Earing to hand the victory to the Trotters.
Despite the first-teamers the Eagles side, there was an early warning sign just eight minutes in when Alex Samizadeh challenged Mandanda in the air and his header bounced off the top of the crossbar, and then just 60 seconds later they took the lead when Mandanda was caught napping on the ball and a hasty clearance forced Dann to make a foul on the edge of the box, and from the free-kick Jeff King squared for Brockbank to fire into the bottom corner.
Palace quickly responded when Campbell dragged an effort just past the far post after a scramble in the box, but Bolton continued to look dangerous when they ventured forward and King was a whisker away from doubling the lead with a vicious free-kick from 25 yards which narrowly missed the target before crashing into the Holmesdale End.
Richard Shaw’s men finished the half strongly and Kaikai drove straight at goalkeeper James Aspinall after bringing the ball down brilliantly after a long pass from Dann, and following a driving run down the right by Aaron Wan-Bissaka Michael Phillips headed just wide as the first 45 drew to a close.
After a quiet start to the second half, Dann and Campbell were withdrawn around the hour mark after getting some useful minutes under their belts, but the striker’s replacement Andre Coker was soon in the thick of the action and he linked up well with Sullay Kaikai before blasting wide after jinking into the box, however with nine minutes remaining Bolton netted a second to kill the game off.
Picking the ball up 40 yards from goal, Jack Earing dribbled past a couple of Palace players to make his way to the edge of the area, and then he let fly and left Mandanda grasping the air as the ball crashed into the top corner to seal the win for the Trotters.
Palace: Mandanda, Wan-Bissaka, O’Dwyer, Dann (Tavares 62), Fryers (Mitchell 50), Phillips, Dreher, Lokilo, Flanagan, Kaikai, Campbell (Coker 62). Subs: Perntreou, McGregor.
Bolton: Aspinall, Spooner, Brockbank, Perry, Honeyball, Lavelle, Griffiths, King, Earing (White 90), Samizadeh (Politic 60), Newell (Fearnley 89). Subs not used: Lonsadale, Grivosti.